Feeling as if she was going crazy, Austin Carrigg had to face the wrath of the medical system when she tried to challenge doctor's opinions on what she knew was true for her own daughter.
Austin Carrigg's motherly instincts kicked in after her now-8-year-old daughter, Melanie, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Although medical professionals insisted that this was the only disorder present, the mom soon proved otherwise.
Down Syndrome is a condition where an individual is born with an additional chromosome; this influences the growth of a baby's physical and mental development in the womb and can lead to challenges in life.
Austin Carrigg’s daughter Melanie. │Source: twitter.com/TODAYshow
Carrigg recognized this reality. However, after she came across other parents whose children also had Down Syndrome along with ketotic hypoglycemia, she began to suspect that something was amiss, expressing:
“I just thought...‘What are the odds that this other little girl with Down syndrome, also has a blood sugar issue that my daughter does?'"
This doubt came to her mind due to several issues that Melanie was experiencing. One significant one was that she had not reached milestones that other children with the same condition had.
After a long, arduous journey of medical professionals rejecting the mother's concerns, researchers finally agreed to look into the issue. They recently released a paper on the subject with Carrigg responding:
"I’m humbled to have been heard."
The study's final synopsis was that ketotic hypoglycemia could be common among those with Down Syndrome. As for how to treat this issue — cornstarch.
Austin Carrigg and her daughter Melanie. │Source: twitter.com/AustinCarrigg
Melanie's mother is just one example of how one individual can make a difference in the field of Down Syndrome. However, 21-year-old Jake Pratt, who has the condition himself, is doing it in his own way.
The 24-year-old who has the condition is pushing for a change in abortion laws.
The young man has defied stereotypes by landing a job with UPS. His sister Amy Hyde said that this challenges perceptions that those with the condition can not be accomplished.
Pratt works 4 hours in the morning at a golf course and 8 hours at UPS, where he runs packages. Taking to Twitter, his sister expressed:
"Thank you@UPS for giving my brother a chance & promoting inclusion in the workforce. Jake has Down Syndrome but that doesn’t stop him!"
According to Hyde, when diagnosed as a child, medical professionals said that Pratt would never function in society. However, his family embraced the philosophy that he could achieve anything, and so he did.
Unfortunately, in some cases, individuals with Down Syndrome are not treated with inclusion or respect. Mother Susan Holcombe spoke about this issue concerning the workplace.
She stated that those with the condition are not treated equally within these environments. Rather, she claimed, they are given jobs with low wages in overprotected spaces.
In a more controversial case, Heidi Carter also draws lines between Down Syndrome and equality. The 24-year-old who has the condition is pushing for a change in abortion laws related to the syndrome.
The young lady took her case to the U.K. High Court with regards to what she sees as unfair termination laws. Currently, in Scotland, England, and Wales, abortions are legal until around 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
However, if a child is at risk of suffering from severe abnormalities, the time limit extends. From touchy topics to equality in the workplace, these conversations are difficult but perhaps worth it in the long run.
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